Helgemo & Helness: Tax Woes

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Geir Helgemo’s and Tor Helness’ move to Monaco may have been accepted as legitimate by the World Bridge Federation, but apparently not by the Norwegian Tax Administration or the Oslo District Court. On May 27, 2017, Dagens Næringsliv first reported that Helgemo and Helness had been indicted on charges of aggravated tax fraud and hiding revenue of 18 million Norwegian kronor (about $2.3 million) over a period of eight years from their bridge careers. Both denied culpability based on their residency in Monaco and their thus being subject to Monaco’s tax laws rather than those of their birth-country, Norway. Monaco has no personal income tax.

On September 27, 2017, Dagens Næringsliv further reported that the Oslo District Court agreed with the tax authorities, sentencing Helness to 16 months in prison and a fine of 340,000 kronor and Helgemo to 14 months and 280,000 kronor. Both players expressed disappointment at the outcome and indicated their intention to appeal the convictions.

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Source: IBPA Bulletin No 633 (October 10, 2017)

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